Friday, January 23, 2009

Monthly Updates

Over the past month we've been getting ready for the new design and site implementation. We took into consideration some of our members' concerns and have implemented them. Some of the most important ones are:

1. Profiles will no longer be accessible by Google. What does that mean? It means that all of your personal information, such as name, city, state, and country will not be available for indexing by search engines. I am not sure why would someone request that, but we listened. The way I see it is that if you are on a .free dating site, then you want as much exposure as possible.

2. None of the profiles will be accessible by users who are not registered. You need to have a user registration to browse through profiles. If you need to use any of the options on the site, then you need a profile. This will eliminate spam and prevent scammers from contacting members.

The change is coming soon and the site will be better than ever.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Some improvements over the week...

We are getting ready for revealing the new design of the site and started doing some winter cleaning.

1. Deleted over 6,000+ inactive profiles.

2. Revamped the profile system forcing better quality profiles on random search

3. Implemented an option to require login when browsing through profiles. Hopefully this will stop the scammers

4. Semi new design and cleanup of a lot of pages..

5. A whole bunch of tiny changes all over the place.

Your input would be greatly appreciated

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DowntoEarth.com and the unfair practices

So, I signed up for DownToEarth.com about a week ago, just to see what is all the fuzz about. Design is great and I won't deny it. The site is simple and easy to navigate. Being that this is a spawn of match.com, I am assuming there is a lot of financing behind it. By the way, seems like match.com is dropping their paid subscription and trying their luck in the free dating field. Their photo uploader is amazing. I have never seen a flash one before. Thought they can only be done in Java. So far I have reported all the positive things, but it is about time for me to tell you about the drawbacks.

This morning I received an email that nalisha has sent me a message. Good enough! I logged i, read the email, and sure enough she turns out to be a scammer. Being a good Samaritan, I reported it to the good folks at downtoearth. To my surprise, I had another two emails in my box (I was never notified about these). They were also scammers. Zapped and reported! Then, I visited my free dating profile section. They have this section called 'My Little black book', that shows profiles I have flirted with and profiles that have flirted with me. Well guess what? There were 3 ladies that 'I HAD' flirted with, but I wasn't aware of ;-) I know I did not, so why are they there. Did they get a message that I flirted with them? If they did, then I think it isn't fare to get your customers coming back to the site by feeding them false information.

I am sure other things will come up and I will be more than happy to report them, but until then, keep warm and think positive.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

People still getting tricked by scammers!

We're only on day ten of 2009, and MessageLabs (owned by Symantec) is already telling that it has detected a significant spike in email fraud and financial scams compared to last year. In the first week, messages with subjects like "Congratulations New Year winner! You have won the UK National Lottery" make up nearly 10% of all e-mail, three times what it was in the first two weeks of 2008.

"The new year means new opportunities for spammers," says Paul Wood, Senior Analyst, MessageLabs. "As the economic climate continues to be frosty and the inability to secure credit through official channels remains spammers are tempted by the possibility that consumers facing uncertain futures may be more tempted by some of these hard-to-resist offers."

It is hard to believe these types of scams are still going full throttle, let alone growing so significantly. Yet the numbers lay it out:

MessageLabs notes that the scams are getting easier to read and less verbose, as to be more cunning in their attempts to trick unsuspecting victims. All of you potential victims out there, how many people do you know that have just come into large sums of money and been notified simply by an email from a stranger? Think these things out. There must be people still falling for these things or they would become extinct.

People still getting tricked by scammers!

We're only on day ten of 2009, and MessageLabs (owned by Symantec) is already telling that it has detected a significant spike in email fraud and financial scams compared to last year. In the first week, messages with subjects like "Congratulations New Year winner! You have won the UK National Lottery" make up nearly 10% of all e-mail, three times what it was in the first two weeks of 2008.

"The new year means new opportunities for spammers," says Paul Wood, Senior Analyst, MessageLabs. "As the economic climate continues to be frosty and the inability to secure credit through official channels remains spammers are tempted by the possibility that consumers facing uncertain futures may be more tempted by some of these hard-to-resist offers."

It is hard to believe these types of scams are still going full throttle, let alone growing so significantly. Yet the numbers lay it out:

MessageLabs notes that the scams are getting easier to read and less verbose, as to be more cunning in their attempts to trick unsuspecting victims. All of you potential victims out there, how many people do you know that have just come into large sums of money and been notified simply by an email from a stranger? Think these things out. There must be people still falling for these things or they would become extinct.

Friday, January 9, 2009

SEO's assistance is needed!

It's getting to a point where I am out front becoming mad. I have done everything to boost my ratings and I have been very unsuccessful and frustrated. My site keeps hovering on page 22 on Google for searches such as: free online dating and free dating. I have done everything I can and know to improve, but with no luck.

I am looking for an SEO consultant (willing to pay him/her) to help me boost my rankings and my position for these key terms. If you are interested, please let me know.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to catch a scammer?!

With many years of experience, I’ve established a routine for catching fraud on my free online dating site. 7 days a week. So far, I have been able to keep fraud levels pretty low and this is what I have learned

  1. Picture of a model.
  2. Headline such as “Looking for a long distance relationship.” Who is LOOKING for a long distance relationship?
  3. Terrible English
  4. Copy/paste email sent to people all over the country
  5. IP address that doesn’t match their registration location. Despite the fact that most foreign countries such as Nigeria and Cote D'Ivoir have already been banned, they still find ways to make it in through anonymous IPs. Well, I have news for you - I am blocking these as well. I am also in the process of writing code to display the IP address of the person in their profile with the respective country.

After the review is done, I delete the bad guys/girls. Delete also removes all email, spam posts, comments and everything related to that person. Users may be a bit frustrated that they’ve been notified that they have mail but log on to find none, but it’s better than being scammed.

Code has been written to say “This account has been deleted.”

Please, write me with your comments here: Free Dating

Sunday, January 4, 2009

On the Web, no one knows you are 14!

Okay knuckleheads, you can’t rely on a website to make sure a girl’s 18. And when you get in trouble because she’s actually 14, it’s not the dating website’s fault, even if their age verification process is ridiculous. So, what s the best age verification process? How can you make sure that the person on the other side is actually of legal age?

Ask for ID! Make sure it’s real! Maybe ask for a birth certificate, too. Because it ain’t SexSearch.com that’s serving jail time, got it? And an appeals court just said the free dating website can’t be held liable for the girl’s lie, not because of the usual Communications Decency Act protections from third-party content, but because the dude that sued SexSearch didn’t make sure she was 18, either.

It was probably a good idea to look around for Chris Hansen, too, ya creep.

Not that SexSearch shouldn’t—um, isn’t morally obligated to—make better efforts to confirm user ages. But in this situation, where a crime was committed offline because of information perceived to be true via a specific medium, there would be infinite liability for all websites, and book publishers, and broadcasters, and on and on, for anything.

The judge says it better: "Given the nature of the service, which encourages members to meet in person for sexual encounters, SexSearch’s potential liability is nearly limitless. For example, arrest, diseases of various sorts, and injuries caused by irate family members or others may be the result of such hedonistic sex.”

Yeah, and it makes your mom sad, too.